1 Jun 2013

Samoa celebrates 51 years of independence

6:31 am on 1 June 2013

Samoa is marking today 51 years of independence in a ceremony held at Tiafau malae at Mulinu'u, the traditional grounds of the many political events during the colonial administrations in the past years.

This year only the head or Ulu of Tokelau and the Lieutenant Governor of American Samoa are invited but members of the diplomatic corps are representing their countries.

The Head of State, Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Efi, will deliver an official speech at the ceremony followed by a 21 gun salute, the raising of the flag, and a march where hundreds of students, organizations and government ministries and corporations will take part.

The government has decided this year's celebrations will be held in one day.

Meanwhile, the US President Barack Obama has sent a congratulatory message to the Head of State.

President Obama wrote Samoa and the United States have long shared a warm relationship and work together closely on many areas of common interest.

He also hoped the two countries will be able to maintain and strengthen this long-standing relationship in the future.

The presidential message was presented by the US Ambassador to Samoa David Huebner to the Head of State.